It took me a while, but I have learned to “trust the process”.
To trust my life. To trust my decisions and my instinct. To trust me.
I celebrated a minor step forward yesterday and was met with encouragement from a total stranger. “It’s all about progress!” she said, and that really is true. The beginning and end are important, but there is no story at all without the middle.
So I have learned to appreciate the frustration that comes when I try to tackle something new. The discontentment I experience when I don’t move forward as quickly as I think I should. The anger that freezes my lips when I know what I want to say, but not how to say it. The sadness cloaked around my heart when I disappoint myself. The times when it feels like all I’m doing is treading water or running a hamster wheel. Every piece of what I go through – every lesson I learn – it all has meaning.
Those trying moments are signs of growth. They are drops in the ocean of my purpose. When I try to shortcut the process, I lose my ocean. I dry up. What I end up producing is smaller that it could have been and less great than it should have been.
Skipping to the front of the line teaches me about privilege, not patience. Letting procrastination push me around in circles ultimately means that it takes longer and more energy to get to the same destination. Anyone who creates knows the uniquely sickening sensation of avoiding the work we were born to do. It is really that simple, and that difficult.
A few years ago I lost about 100lbs and I don’t really like to talk about my weight much, I was teased pretty brutally by family and friends to the point that when this transformation is brought up today I quickly change the subject. When I decided to take control of my health, I didn’t set a “size” goal. I didn’t want to lose X pounds or melt away X inches. I knew that given other health complications I couldn’t go on the way I was. It took so much hard work and this battle is far from over. Trying to shortcut this process would have meant losing weight quickly and relatively easily through surgery or pills or whatever new concoction big pharma has come up with lately. It would have meant looking thinner, but not better. It would have meant that I didn’t go through the shit I needed to go through in order to really understand my body.
It all goes back to trusting myself. I know that I have good sense. I understand the things I’ve messed up – and not just how I messed up, but how I got in those situations to begin with and how I can avoid them in the future. I am critical of myself, but not unfair. I am resilient. I know that I can do anything, but I also know how to lean on friends and family when I really need them. I trust my process. I trust the life that I’ve been given.
Most importantly, I am not afraid of setbacks or failure. I am only afraid of dying a puddle instead of the ocean I was built to be.